Just after 10 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 4, Little Bit Rove, the world’s greatest dog, passed from this life to the next. She apparently had an arrhythmia from birth and despite the best efforts of Dr. Julie Page of Palisade, Colo., and her Valley Emergency Pet Care colleagues in Basalt, Little Bit’s loving heart gave out. She’d have been three in November.My wife Karen and I had been without a dog since our border collie Nan died in August 2015. On Christmas 2019, Karen decided it was time. Her gift was a promise: I could pick out a dog from a nearby hunting preserve.When we arrived at Joshua Creek Ranch, the cages on the hunting trucks were filled with a dozen or more dogs that the guides let out so we could see them all in action. From the scrum of animals, a sleek black English cocker spaniel emerged, running straight for us. She jumped on me, her little white tail wagging eagerly, as if to say “Nice to meet you! We’ll have fun today! If the rumors are true you’re looking for a dog, keep me in mind!” The issue was settled. ,,,She appeared in videos we shared with friends marking holidays or offering invitations to parties and ranch weekends. She even had her portrait painted by a former president, who captured her regal bearing, penetrating eyes and long ears.For 18 months this loving, joyous spirit was a big part of our family. On vacation the Saturday before last, we slept in, Little Bit wedged right up against me for warmth. We went for her morning business, then she ran cheerfully through the hotel to report to Karen and snuggle more, rising after a while for breakfast. A few minutes later, she went into convulsions. She recovered somewhat on the frantic ride to the vet’s but was gone within the hour.I’m no theologian, but believe God grants us pets to encourage us to give and receive unconditional love—to see loyalty personified and to remind us that we must balance joy and delight with loss and grief in this transitory life.Karen and I are so grateful Little Bit was part of our family, even for a short while. She’ll always be in our hearts. RIP, LB.